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Online betting is the largest sector of the UK gambling industry with 52% of bets, report shows

A thorough study on the industry during the pandemic in the United Kingdom shows that slots account for 69.3% of all the money wagered on internet sites, which makes up as much as £2.2 billion of the total GGY.

Between April and September 2020, remote and online betting represented the largest sectors of the industry, with total wagers of $4.3 billion, followed by the National Lottery and in-person betting.

LeanBackPlayer published a report on the health status of the gambling industry, giving an insight into current trends and what the future may hold. The company collected the whole spectrum of the critical data to provide a complete picture of the current situation in the industry. According to LeanBackPlayer’s report issued on July 20, data provided by the UK Gambling Commission published in May 2021 shows that the total gross gambling yield was $8.2 billion for the months between April and September 2020. That number includes all forms of gambling: lotteries, bingo, online revenue, remote betting, and more. Remote and online betting represented the largest sectors of the industry, with total wagers of $4.3 billion, or 52.3% of the overall market. That includes all online wagers, as well as racetrack betting. The National Lottery was the second-largest earner in terms of GGY at $2.2 billion. In-person betting was third, at $875.2 million, with machines making up just shy of half that figure at 48.5%. These numbers represent the official government figures as reported by all industry sources. However, there are more recent totals that have been reported by casino operators, mainly online casinos. The most recent operator data available comes from May 2021. According to these figures, the overall GGY is down 5% compared to the previous month, while the average session length increased to just over 20 minutes. Reports from January and February showed that GGY across the industry decreased by 19% compared to the months immediately preceding. This could be a symptom of land-based casinos varying degrees of lockdown. Also, session length increased by 4% from December to February, indicating that the desire to wager was still strong among the gambling public. 2020’s official numbers have not been published yet. According to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), tax receipts from gaming establishments dropped in 2020 as well. From April 2020 to March 2021, the total tax revenue driven by gambling establishments was $3.9 billion, which is a drop of $253 million (6%) compared to tax revenue from the previous fiscal year. LeanBackPlayer’s report also analyzed online gambling’s numbers and the possibility that remote wagering could overtake land-based casinos. The results show that online and remote gambling represented over half of all revenue garnered by the industry from the tail end of 2019 into 2020, representing an 8.1% increase. According to data from Google Trends, as lockdowns prevented many casinos from servicing players at all, more people in the UK searched online for the term “casino” in May 2020 than at any other time on record. Slots, the most popular game in online establishments in the UK, account for as much as 69.3% of all the money wagered on the internet, which makes up for $3 billion of the total GGY. Roulette and blackjack represented 14% and 6% of online GGY, respectively. On the other hand, Bingo garnered nearly $246 million in 2020. Even though online and remote gambling have grown by 20% in recent years, their revenues were down 6% in terms of GGY during the pandemic. Taxes and revenues were also scrutinized. Results show that taxes on land-based casinos plummeted by 62%, and in-person machine gaming duties were also down 44% over that time period. Tax levies generated by online and remote establishments rose by 25% from the previous report, and those establishments contributed over $1.2 billion in revenue. That number represents 31% of all duties collected by the HMRC over that time frame. Lottery duties had a 1% rise in tax contributions over that time span. This amounted to $1.3 billion in tax revenue. The distribution of funds is broken down by category, and those categories are as follows:

  • Health, education, environment, and charity: 40%

  • Sports: 20%

  • Arts: 20%

  • Heritage: 20%

Based on these numbers, the report concluded that the gambling industry has suffered in the wake of the pandemic but “there are signs that the desire to gamble remains strong in the British public. It’s likely that, once they’re able, players will rush back to their favorite casinos (both online and off) and breathe new life into the business”.

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